Quite a while ago, I came across a site called "Cool Mom Picks". I happen to enjoy reading some of the posts on the site and have seen lots of interesting gadgets/toys/clothing/etc. on the site. Some things look like they would be genuinely helpful. Occasionally they have some interesting kid music posted. They also showcase some interesting Etsy sellers once in a while.
I love the idea of showcasing creative moms who sell their high-quality wares. I love the idea of buying all organic. I love the idea of buying only the very best (and the very safest) things for our children. And I even understand that if you want to have unique, artsy, indie, "cool" sorts of things that you might have to pull a little more cash out of your pocket-book to get it.
But the thing that drives me crazy about this site is that EVERYTHING is expensive. Who are these moms who can afford to spend $40 on a T-shirt for a 3 year-old??
One of today's posts is a good example of this. They were showcasing a children's furniture designer. One who uses high-quality renewable materials and safe water-based paints. One who creates interesting furniture pieces. And the plug today was for their new line of more AFFORDABLE children's furniture. The pieces in this new line are touted to be about half the price of the original line. Woo Hoo!! HALF the price! That's gotta be good, right? So I clicked on the picture of the crib in the post to find out just how AFFORDABLE half-off is for this designer. Turns out AFFORDABLE according to Cool Mom Picks is $565.00.
Who are these moms??
Let me give them a little lesson in AFFORDABILITY and eco-friendliness.
I recently purchased a crib for child number three's room (I'm hoping I get to use it...even if I have to use it in the toddler bed configuration instead of the crib configuration...but that's an entirely different post).
I purchased my crib for $50.
From a yard sale.
That's affordable. And its eco-friendly. I am re-using what otherwise may end up in the trash. There's no need to create all kinds of new furniture when we pass along what we've already used. If I want it a different color, I can paint it with my own kid-safe paints.
And if I do that, I will have spent less than $100 for my child's crib. I just need to buy a new mattress and I'm good to go.
I've had these thoughts about this site for as long as I've known about the site. There are great ideas there...like advice on finding safe alternatives to plastic baby bottles...or finding eco-friendly ways to pack your child's school lunch every day. There are interesting Etsy artisans...there's advice about finding resources for recalled items...and lots of other things.
But, in truth, every time I've seen something that I thought "I could use that" and I've clicked on the link, I've noticed that said item is WAY more expensive than is reasonable, given my budget. I think there needs to be a "Cool Mom Picks - Recession Edition" or something.
Usually if I find something I think is a great idea and I have to have it...I do a quick search online to see if I can find the same item (or something similar) much cheaper. I also search for patterns (or recipes) for things that I can just make myself. But to be completely honest, I haven't found anything on the site that I Just. Had. To. Have. But I have made a thing or two that was similar to something they put on their site. And I've learned some things along the way. And...if there's ever a baby around these parts, then I've learned some things from the site that might be helpful.
Ok. Rant over.